Cities for People, Not for Profit: Critical Urban Theory and the Right to the City

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2011-11-28
  • Publisher: Routledge

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The financial crisis has given new impetus to the struggles of oppositional urban social movements that have long emphasized the injustice, destructiveness and unsustainability of capitalist forms of urbanization. Through contributions by urban theorists, sociologists, geographers, political scientists, planners and activists, the volume explores the possibilities for, and constraints upon, critical urban theory and practice today. Ideas are linked by a common theme: the difficulties that are created for people by cities organized for profit, and the existing trends, struggles and movements that might change their course to construct alternative forms of urbanism. The slogan, "cities for people, not for profit," thus sets into stark relief what the authors view as a central political objective for ongoing efforts, at once theoretical and practical, to address the global urban crises of our time.

Author Biography

Neil Brenner is Professor of Urban Theory at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. Peter Marcuse, a planner and lawyer, is Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at Columbia University. Margit Mayer teaches comparative and North American politics at the Freie Universitt Berlin.

Table of Contents

List of figuresp. vii
Contributorsp. viii
Preface and acknowledgmentsp. xi
Cities for people, not for profit: an introductionp. 1
What is critical urban theory?p. 11
Whose right(s) to what city?p. 24
Henri Lefebvre, the right to the city, and the new metropolitan mainstreamp. 42
The "right to the city" in urban social movementsp. 63
Space and revolution in theory and practice: eight thesesp. 86
The praxis of planning and the contributions of critical development studiesp. 102
Assemblages, actor-networks, and the challenges of critical urban theoryp. 117
The new urban growth ideology of "creative cities"p. 138
Critical theory and "gray space": mobilization of the colonizedp. 150
Missing Marcuse: on gentrification and displacementp. 171
An actually existing just city? The fight for the right to the city in Amsterdamp. 197
A critical approach to solving the housing problemp. 215
Socialist cities, for people or for power?p. 231
The right to the city: from theory to grassroots alliancep. 250
What is to be done? And who the hell is going to do it?p. 264
Afterwordp. 275
Indexp. 276
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